Individual and developmental differences in attention regulation during the still-face procedure
Whitehead, Melissa Mahurin
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Emotional self-regulation (ESR) lays the groundwork for further socioemotional development. Past research has not made clear the role that ESR strategies have on infant affect during a distressing situation. The current study uses the still-face procedure to examine individual and developmental differences in infant emotion regulation strategies. All infants completed both a visual attention task used to measure fixation duration and the still-face procedure. Results supported the hypothesis that attention regulation would be inversely correlated with negative affect and positively correlated with neutral affect. Additionally, there was a difference in the amount of attention regulation used by the 4-and 6-month olds compared to the 3-month-olds. Finally, longer-looking used less attention regulation during the still-face phase than infants with medium and short look-durations. These results suggest that infants do attempt to regulate their affect by altering their attention; additionally, attention processes seem to be stable across cognitive and social paradigms.